The struggle of being an Agile perfectionist - Kraken Marketing (1)

15 November 2020

The struggle of being an Agile perfectionist

Lyssa is a marketing badass and founder of Kraken Marketing. She is all about using Data-Driven Marketing using Agile methodologies to help businesses level up. Google Women Techmaker, public speaker, and GIF aficionado. She was one of Cornwall's 30 under 30 and Young Business Person of the Year.
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Hi! 👋 My name is Lyssa and I’m a perfectionist. I am also an Agile marketer, and sometimes those things don’t work so well together. 


I want things to be perfect, the first time. There is no room for error. 

Unfortunately, I know that I sometimes go above the level of healthy perfectionism and can be way too hard on myself, often setting unrealistic high standards. 🤣


Perfectionism can lead to excellence, but it can also be a real problem.
It can lead to overthinking, overworking, burnout, sleeplessness, and poor mental health. 

Which is not great! 


The benefits of perfectionism

Perfectionists are usually super organised and can find streamlined ways of doing things. They excel at creating systems and processes that get more work done, in a better way. 

Their high standards mean that the work produced is often amazing, meets the brief and exceeds expectations. 


They usually pay attention to the detail and make sure that work feels really polished. 

Sounds great, doesn’t it? 


The benefits of Agile

Taking an Agile approach to work is also a good thing.
It means projects get delivered on time and on budget. 

It allows you to respond quickly to change, and deliver value faster. 


There are systems and processes in place that allow for transparency, accountability and autonomy. 

This also sounds wonderful, and there are clear benefits to your team adopting Agile. 


Why I struggle as an Agile perfectionist

I want things to be right – the first time. But in being Agile, we usually take an iterative approach. We do a smaller, scaled-down version of “the thing” and see how that works. 

Then scale it up a bit, make some tweaks and do it again. And again. Improving each time. 


But my perfectionism wants me to go big and awesome from the start.
I struggle to put things into the world that aren’t perfect and I wake up in the night thinking of a better way to do something. 


I recently put a newsletter subscription pop-up on my website.
I did this because I am creating some awesome newsletter content together (sign up here wink, wink) and I don’t want people to miss out. I wanted to create a clear call to action for people to subscribe for awesomeness. 

I use Mailchimp and they provide code for a pop up on your website. 

But the pop up isn’t very pretty.
It is not on brand.
It’s very…boring. 


But, this is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). It’s functional, it works. 

People are using it to subscribe to my newsletter.
So I should be happy, right? Yet all I can think about is how off-brand it is. 

I could spend money and get the awesome development team at hiyield to build something better, but the ROI on that wouldn’t be great at this point. 

Being good with good enough

I am trying to get better at being good with good enough. 

I’m trying to take an MVP approach to more aspects of life. 

For example, I bought my house 6 years ago and I have hated the kitchen the entire time. 

I have wanted to have a whole new kitchen put in, but it turns out I have expensive taste and have not been able to afford what I want.


So, I have decided to give it a bit of botox.
Last weekend I painted the tiles, added new floor tiles, and am currently painting the cupboard doors. 

It’s not great. The kitchen is still really small without the best layout. And I don’t have a dishwasher (which is the dream). But, it looks more modern and spacious. It is more my style and less green. 

It is good enough.
Better than it was, but still has room for improvement. 


Can a perfectionist be Agile?

Yes, you can become an Agile perfectionist. But it takes work. 

I actually think it can be a killer combo and possibly the source of my superpower. 

But sometimes, it can be a struggle to find the right balance between the two. 


If you would like to find out more about how this Agile perfectionist can help your tech company level up, get in touch.